filed under: community & partnership development
Prepared by Mary A. Hanson and Kandee Haertel
The future ability of people to enjoy and keep horses in open spaces will hinge largely on the efforts of today's equestrian users. What is the alternative? Loss of trails for equestrians. Now is the time to get organized!
The crisis of diminishing access to land and trails can be lessened by equestrian trails advocacy groups. They empower and coordinate individuals to take action and make their united voices heard.
These groups are by nature grassroots and distinct, offering a means for preserving and creating equestrian trails where no one else would be concerned. Who better understands the issues and reaps the benefits than the direct user group? Their power lies in the simplicity and integrity of their mission, their passion for their endeavors, and their clear vision of the task before them. Their power is in being practical and focused, growing to become a strong, effective organization.
Equestrian trails groups can seek funding, engage partners, educate landowners and other trail users, raise public awareness, and provide support, both physical and political.
Using these guidelines is one part of a major endeavor to become successful. The other ingredients include a wide-reaching vision, cooperation, political savvy, and just sheer luck. Remembering there will be setbacks to deal with and brick walls to knock down will keep the group ready to face whatever comes along. One or a few people can start, but it will take a cooperative effort to accomplish the goal to assure horse trails in the future.
Published August 2014
No matter our differences in backgrounds or how we choose to enjoy the great outdoors, trails create common ground that connects us. Access to trails is a privilege we acknowledge and can only safeguard through our actions toward one another.
A guide for anyone who wants to better understand trails planning, decision making, and trail project development. If you’re a trail enthusiast with big ideas, a trail advocate, a stewardship volunteer, or public agency staff person interfacing with local partners, this guide is for you.
This February and March, over 120 advocates virtually hiked the halls of Congress to call for action to protect and expand access for all to public lands and trails. These efforts, led by the Partnership for the National Trails System and American Hiking Society, developed a series of common messages and legislative priorities for the coming Federal fiscal year. We encourage all of our partners to download the Hike the Hill materials now to help build a common agenda for the entire trails community.
Funding available for trail maintenance efforts on USFS lands.